Documentary – The legend of Elk

This documentary focuses on the unique inhabitants of the Yellow Sea Wetlands – the elk. Viewers will get a close-up look at these rare and mystical animals, exploring their way of life in the wetlands and the crucial role they play in this delicate ecosystem. Through in-depth research and breathtaking natural footage, we take you into the world of the elk, showcasing their struggles for survival and ecological importance.


【Live Audio】Hello everyone, I am Jin Liangdong. Now I am standing on the Yellow Sea Wetland of my hometown, Yancheng. It was inscribed on the World Natural Heritage List in 2019, which is the pride of my hometown. Ever since I was a child, I have come here every year on holidays to meet a special group of friends, who are they? let’s follow my lens and take a look.

【Live audio】Look! These cute elks are my friend.

【Voiceover】Elk is a rare species unique to China and has been known as an auspicious beast since ancient times. Because its horns resemble a deer, its face resembles a horse, its hooves resemble an ox, and its tail resembles a donkey, it is known as the “four unlike”.

【Voiceover】According to research, in history, elk mainly lived in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, and the number reached hundreds of millions more than 2,000 years ago, and the total number of human beings on the earth at that time was only 150 million. Due to the intensification of large-scale hunting and human activities, by the early years of the Qing Dynasty, there were only more than 200 elk left in China, all of which were kept in the Beijing Royal Hunting Garden. In the autumn of 1900, a catastrophe caused this rare species unique to China to become extinct in China, and the world’s only 18 remaining elk were kept by the eleventh Duke of Befort of England in his Wubangsi estate. In 1986, with the joint efforts of WWF and the Ministry of Forestry of China, 39 elk returned to their hometown from the United Kingdom and came to Yancheng Dafeng Elk Sanctuary to start a new life back to nature.

【Live Audio】I have been following the development of elk populations for long. Through exchanges with researchers in protected areas and field research, I have learned about their living habits. At the same time, I led the establishment of the “Elk Guardian Threesome” team to publicize and mobilize more people to pay attention to ecological civilization. The team has grown from 3 people to 48 people.

【Voice Over】In spring, everything recovers. The elk, which have experienced a harsh winter, feed on fresh and tender grass to replenish nutrients in the body.

【Live Audio】You see, they are changing away from their heavy gray-brown winter fur and slowly putting on reddish-brown light “clothing”.

【Voiceover】Every year from March to May, female elk hide in the woods to prepare for birth. The newborn fawn has many spots on its body, weighs 10 to 15 kilograms, can stand and walk within 20 minutes of landing, and a week after birth, the baby elk will follow its mother into the herd of deer.

【Live Audio】Summer is coming. Look, the elk are standing in the water, some are eating aquatic plants, and some are carrying mud to their backs to protect themselves from the sun.

【Voiceover】In early summer, adult elk enter estrus. The stag began to dress itself, with grass on its horns and mud on its back, a symbol of might and to attract the attention of the opposite sex. At this point, the strong stag will produce a new deer king through a duel, and only the deer king has the right to mate. Through a mortal battle for the throne, elk pass on the strongest and best genes in the herd.

【Live Audio】In autumn, the Yellow Sea wetlands are shrouded in hazy poetry. At this time, the bucks are no longer aggressive, they are constantly grabbing food to reserve energy for the winter. The doe feeds all day long to accumulate nutrients for the baby in her belly. Elk cubs born in the spring are now able to fend for themselves, and they will usher in the first cold winter of their lives.

【Live Audio】Winter is coming, and the temperature in the wetlands drops below freezing. You see, the adult stag not far away is still patrolling the herd with a proud posture.

【Voiceover】At this time, the elk are replaced with heavy winter fur, which can withstand the freezing cold of minus 15 degrees Celsius. The antlers of the bucks begin to fall off and quickly grow new antler velvet. The doe is pregnant and ready for a new life. They enjoy life in the wind and snow, interpreting the peace and tranquility of the elk world.

【Live Audio】After 37 years of careful protection by the local government and people, elk have grown from 39 to more than 7,000 today, accounting for 70% of the world’s total elk.【Voiceover】It is also home to the world’s largest wild elk population and the most complete elk gene pool, and has also set a milestone for elk to get out of the world’s endangered species list and restore wild populations.

【Live Audio】One blue sky, same home. Friends, the elk living here are lucky and happy. While enjoying the joy of conservation, I am also full of thoughts and expectations: how to solve the problem of inbreeding of elk? How to make people and deer live in harmony forever from the legal level? How can modern technologies such as artificial intelligence be used to maintain biodiversity? I think that solving problems requires you, me, and all of us working together! Here, I sincerely invite friends from all over the world to come here and become close friends with the cute elk! Welcome to my hometown!